WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts star Bruce Lee, was killed in a movie studio accident Wednesday, the latest in a series of incidents involving the making of the horror flick 'The Crow.' He was 28.
Production of the movie -- which has seen two set workers injured, a sculptor run his car into a plaster shop, and a storm level numerous sets -- was suspended after Lee's fatal accident, said Jeremy Walker, publicist for 'The Crow.' Entertainment Weekly magazine said in an article this week some cast members believe the movie is cursed.
Wilmington police said Lee was walking through a door carrying a bag of groceries when he was shot by another actor. The gun was to fire a blank, police said, and an explosive charge inside the grocery bag was to simulate the gunshot.
But when the explosive charge went off around 12:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, Lee collapsed. Emergency medical teams rushed to his aid and he was taken to a local hospital, the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday of abdominal injuries.
Police said it would be treated as an accidental shooting until an autopsy determines the exact origin of his injuries.
Bruce Lee starred in a number of kung fu action series and movies until his mysterious death at age 32 in 1973. The elder Lee had been making a movie in Hong Kong at the time and the official cause of death was given as a cerebral hemorrhage, possibly linked to drug use.
Brandon Lee followed in both his father's martial arts and acting footsteps. His first acting job was at age 20 in a CBS movie, 'Kung Fu, the Movie.' He starred in the motion picture 'Rapid Fire,' released in August 1992 and had a deal to appear in two other movies for 20th Century Fox.
In 'The Crow,' Lee was portraying a rock singer who returned from the dead to avenge his and his girlfriend's murders. The movie was being directed by Alex Proyas for Edward R. Pressman Films.
Paul Cooper, vice president and general manager of Atlantic Records, which is producing the movie soundtrack, was stunned by the news.
'We've had such great expectations of this movie...and now all of a sudden to hear of the disaster for the lead role, my God,' he said.
Filming began on Feb. 1 and the movie was slated to wrap and enter post-production work in two weeks. The $14 million Paramount film was slated for release in August.
Lee is survived by his mother, Linda, and sister, Shannon.